Compare Januvia vs. Afrezza

Head-to-head comparisons of medication uses, side effects, ratings, and more.

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Januvia (sitagliptin)

Prescription only

Afrezza (insulin)

Prescription only
Lowers your blood sugar.

Januvia (sitagliptin) is a good add-on treatment if your blood sugars are not controlled and you don't want to use an injectable medicine.

3.2/ 5 average rating with 143 reviewsforJanuvia
Controls mealtime blood sugar.

Afrezza (insulin) is effective at controlling blood sugar, but you can't use it if you've had lung problems or smoke.

Upsides
  • Oral blood sugar-lowering medicine.
  • Januvia (sitagliptin) is not linked to worsening heart failure like other medicines in its class.
  • Uses the hormones naturally produced by your body to affect how sugar is processed.
  • It is less likely to cause weight gain and low blood sugar compared to other diabetes medicines.
  • Afrezza (insulin) is as effective as other mealtime insulin products.
  • Starts working faster and stays in your body for a shorter time than other mealtime insulin products, so you're less likely to have severely low blood sugar.
  • If you don't like needles, Afrezza (insulin) is a good alternative since you inhale it.
  • Safe to use in people 65 or older.
  • Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about ways to lower your copay, such as coupons.
Downsides
  • Lowers A1c (average blood sugar over time) by less than 1%.
  • Available as brand version only.
  • Some people might get frequent cold-like symptoms.
  • Rare but serious side effects include pancreatitis and severe joint pain.
  • Not recommended if you're a smoker or if you've smoked in the last 6 months.
  • Afrezza (insulin) only comes in 3 different strengths, so it can be inconvenient if you need a lot of insulin.
  • Not recommended in children under 18.
  • If you're pregnant, you'll need to talk to your doctor before you start Afrezza (insulin).
  • There is no generic available, and may not be covered right away by Medicare or other insurances.
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Used for
Dosage forms
  • Pill
  • Inhalation powder
Price
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Reviews
143 reviews so far
44%
saidit'sworth it
34%
saiditworked well
17%
saidit'sa big hassle

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Side effects
3possible side effects
  • Common cold
    5%
  • Diarrhea
    3%
  • Abdominal pain
    2%
See more detailed side effects
6possible side effects
  • Cough
    28%
  • Throat pain or irritation
    6%
  • Headache
    5%
  • Worsening lung function test
    3%
  • Airway inflammation
    3%
  • Urinary tract infection
    2%
See more detailed side effects
Risks and risk factors
  • Death from inflammation of the pancreas (pancreatitis)
    • History of pancreatitis
    • High blood triglyceride levels
    • Gallstones (stones in gallbladder)
    • History of alchoholism
    • Kidney problems
  • Serious allergic reactions
  • Kidney damage
    • Pre-existing kidney damage
  • Low blood sugar (hypoglycemia)
    • Taking medicines for diabetes
  • Severe joint pain and swelling
See more detailed risks and warnings
  • Low blood sugar
    • Changes in diet and exercise
    • Drinking alcohol
    • Taking other medications for diabetes
    • Over age 65
    • Liver or kidney problems
  • Breathing problems
    • Asthma
    • Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
    • Other long term lung problems
  • Low blood potassium levels
    • Taking laxatives
    • Taking medications that increase urination
  • Worsening lung function
    • Smoking
    • Second-hand smoke
    • Indoor and outdoor pollution
    • Work-related fume and chemical exposure
  • Fluid buildup
    • Taking Avandia or Actos
  • Too much acid in the blood
    • Type 1 diabetes
    • Long periods of fasting
    • Alchohol abuse
    • History of pancreatitis
See more detailed risks and warnings